News & Opinion

Tiger Woods ‘personally approached’ by rival tour

Woods addresses talk of the proposed Premier Golf League, his possible return as Presidents Cup captain, a potential rules bifurcation in the distance debate and his record at Riviera

Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Tour this week, and he was the center of attention Tuesday in Pacific Palisades, Calif. In his news conference before the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, Woods talked about a variety of subjects:

The Genesis Invitational
Signage at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., site of this week’s Genesis Invitational on the PGA Tour.

Premier Golf League – The proposed rival tour “personally approached” Woods about his participation, he confirmed. “My team's been aware of it, and we've delved into the details of it and trying to figure it out just like everyone else. … Just like all events, you're trying to get the top players to play more collectively. It's one of the reasons why we instituted the World Golf Championships, because we were only getting together five times a year – the four majors and the Players – and we wanted to showcase the top players on more than just those occasions. So, this is a natural evolution. Whether or not things like this are going to happen, but ideas like this are going to happen going forward, whether it's now or any other time in the future.”

Presidents Cup – After leading the U.S. to a comeback 16-14 victory in which he went 3-0 as a player/captain, Woods was uncertain whether he would want to return to lead the Americans in 2021. He noted the U.S. commitment to an international team match-play event every year, with the alternating Ryder and Presidents cups. “We have two cups that we're involved in, not just every other year where the Internationals are, the European team. So, the responsibilities on an American are a little bit more.”

The distance debate and potential rules bifurcation – “I think that is certainly on discussion. It's on the table whether we bifurcate or not. It's only 1 percent of the guys or women that are going to be using that type of equipment, but we want to keep the game enjoyable. We want to keep having more kids want to come play it.”

His winless history at Riviera – “I have historically never really putted well here. I've played here so many rounds. It suits a natural cutter of the golf ball, so I figured that's what I have done pretty much my entire career, but when it comes right down to it, you've got to hit the ball well here because the greens are so small and they're so slopey. But for some reason, everything kind of breaks toward 6, and I still haven't quite figured that out. Yesterday when I was out there with Bubba [Watson], he was giving me pretty good grief. He's won here, what, three times, and I haven't.”

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